Sorry about that. Blogging got a bit away from me for the past... 3 months?! Oh my, where did that time go?
Oh well first things first
Totally worth it.
Marching Bands update -
Avon Grove - This was my first season teaching at Avon Grove High School and can safely say it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had teaching high school marching band. The kids were great and worked a lot harder than I anticipated. I think I WAY underwrote the drill difficulty for them, but they simply raised the bar for next year. This year's show was The Lion King. A safe show for a non-competition group to still entertain, but they really blew it out of the water. They still have a long way to go, but with some hard work and a harder show next year, the sky is the limit. Next year's show is Tommy (the rock opera by The Who) a la 1990 Blue Devils. I am VERY excited to do this show and think it offers a lot of possibilities visually. One of the best compliments I received from the director this year was that they had the opportunity as a staff to add visuals at holds and such. Apparently this was new to the program and they usually simply stood still like a typical football band. It may sound small, but it meant a lot to me that we were efficient enough and the drill was taught clear enough that we had time to do that. With this being my first time writing the drill, I learned a lot about the capabilities of the performers and staging and all that junk. Next year proves to be even better!
Take a look at our show - This was from the home football game vs. Coatesville.
West Chester East - East's show this year was West Side Story. It was a very well written show both musically and visually. I don't think we have ever been as on top of the design of the show as we were this year. Starting in April, we got together as a staff and worked our way through the show top to bottom and tried to design a successful show with was both entertaining and competitive. We thought we had succeeded. The judges thought otherwise. They didn't get it for most of the season. The drill was designed to portray the sharks (brass) and the jets (woodwinds) battling against each other until the climax of the show where they finally came together in unity and walked off the field together leaving a baritone soloist playing the tune to Somewhere. 9th out of 9. On the bright side, I have never taught a finer brass line. My Captain was excellent and took a lot of things upon himself to help the line succeed which made my job a lot easier. From day one, we tried to do everything from a championship approach and succeeded. We beat a lot of horn lines all year which were larger than us. Overall, screw the judges. I love those kids and they worked really hard. Too bad we are in a crappy circuit that doesn't recognize when one group truly beats another. I'm not saying we should have been 1st - but we definitely shouldn't have been last....
I don't have a video available from this yet, but I should soon. In the meantime, here's a few neat pics:
Wedding Update - Heather and I are moving through the whole wedding planning thing quite nicely. We set the date (May 24, 2008) found the place (Downingtown Country Club) for both the ceremony and reception. Heather also bought a dress.... and then another dress when she liked one better. We found a photographer (Campli Photography) and did a session with him for engagement photos. I would LOVE to show you some of them, but can't copy them in here. SO, if you're interested go to www.campliphoto.com and click the link on the bottom which says "Portrait Proofs." Enter the session ID "Keefer" which is case sensitive and ignore all of the bad ones! We also found a florist compliments of Heather's Grandparents! We really have a lot done, but there's still so much to do. One major thing is a DJ, so if anyone has any suggestions please send them along!
That's about it for me. That's the major update, but hopefully it won't be another 3 months until you hear from me again.